By Phil Dawsey, Senior Product Marketing Manager, DocuSign
Customer experience was a big topic at Momentum 2019, DocuSign’s annual user conference in San Francisco held in June. For attendees from banks to retailers to healthcare providers to governments, a common top priority is to deliver on the expectations of their customers.
A panel that I ran, “Closing the Experience Gaps in Consumer Sales”, was focused on just that topic – why experience matters so much today and what leading companies are doing to improve it.
Nearly everyone attending my session agreed that their expectations as consumers were higher than they’ve ever been before, which aligns with a Salesforce study that indicated 67% of consumers felt this way. The unfortunate part is that, according to Gartner, only 22% of businesses think they are meeting the expectations of customers.
This trend is driven by all that we have access to today from Amazon’s vast marketplace providing more transparency and optionality to customers than ever before, to the ability to get anything we want on-demand at the click of a button including transportation (Uber), lodging (Airbnb) and entertainment (Netflix). Today, our expectations are liquid – meaning we apply our expectations from one interaction to all other experiences – and the threshold for experience is higher than ever.
So, of course, businesses are prioritizing customer experience. For those who offer services or financing, the agreement is the moment that moves a prospect to a customer, making it a critical point in the customer journey and an ideal place to start when looking to deliver a great customer experience. Several customers shared how they have used DocuSign to modernize and streamline the agreement experience in their organizations.
Trash was an interesting place to start. It isn’t considered an area that is tech-forward or customer experience-focused, but that is not the case at Advanced Disposal. CIO Doug Saunders shared how DocuSign eSignature has streamlined service contracts with their residential customers. It has helped them win by giving customers the power to interact when, where and how they want through a frictionless contracting experience.
Sunrun is a home solar company that has relationship that lasts over 20 years with their customers. Sr. Director of CRM Engineering Suriya Gurumurthy noted how the customer needs to fully understand all aspects of how their solar system will work and have access to that detail in a clear contract they can refer to any time over coming years. With DocuSign eSignature, the evaluation and sales process was reduced from days to hours with only one on-site visit required of the customer. This easy and transparent process has helped Sunrun scale a cumbersome process to become one of the largest solar installers in the US.
Kubota is a large global vendor of farm and construction equipment. “We have some customers who are very tech-savvy and expect the experience to be digital and seamless,” said Chris Richter, Business Systems Manager at Kubota, “but we also needed something that is easy for customers who are less comfortable with technology.” They decided to modernize their financing process and currently complete 97% of these contracts with DocuSign eSignature. Today, Kubota has reduced the financing process by 12 days and saved 1.7 million pieces of paper in the past year alone.
Digging into these stories really highlighted how important a modern agreement process is for delivering a great customer experience. Each panelist closed with a piece of advice they had for anyone prioritizing customer experience:
- Provide full transparency throughout your engagement with each customer from pre-sale all the way to years after the sale
- Technology needs to be convenient to gain traction, but must also be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of your entire customer base
- Make yourself as easy to do business with as possible, which starts with contracts